Last year, a student at Brigham Young University made news when she was accused of violating the school’s honor code by being raped.
The accused rapist Nasiru Seidu was acquitted of the 2015 first-degree rape charge, according to Jezebel.
The survivor was allegedly raped off campus, but she was investigated for her “sexual behavior” that was detailed in the police report. Students at BYU are not allowed to have premarital sex, regardless of whether that sex is nonconsensual. She was then prevented from enrolling in classes because she refused to cooperate with the Honor Code investigation.
“BYU likes to look at your rape and chop it up into little pieces and choose the parts that they can punish you for,” she said in 2016. “They’re emboldening my rapist.”
She didn’t initially involve the campus since the alleged rape took place off campus. The police report was given to the university, however, by a Utah County Sheriff, who is a friend of the accused rapist. The U.S. Department of Education did begin a Title IX investigation, but that investigation is still pending. New Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has called into question President Barack Obama’s work to try and eradicate sexual assault on college campuses and is “reviewing” the rules.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune , Seidu’s attorney Matthew Morrise called into question the survivor’s credibility and alleged that the state’s case relied only on her and no other evidence.
“He accused her of telling various stories about the rape to suit her audience,” The Tribune reported. “Her account shifted from preliminary hearing to trial, Morrise argued, and then later as she spoke with media in her efforts to change reporting policies at Brigham Young University.”
“You can not convict Mr. Seidu unless you can trust that source,” he continued. He further claimed that the survivor only accused him of rape to avoid an Honor Code investigation.
“She has come before you, and she is asking you to believe her,” the prosecutor said, refuting Morrise.
The Utah jury refused to convict him, but the alleged rape survivor is still unable to register for classes at BYU.